Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy: Are We Providing Proper Prophylactic Antibiotic Coverage?

Ayat ElSherif, Daniela Cocco, Sherif Armanyous, Andi Cummins, Kristina Shaffer, Eliana F.R. Duraes, Steven Bernard, Risal Djohan, Graham Schwarz, Chao Tu, Stephanie A. Valente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Infection after nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) and implant-based reconstruction (IBR) can be a devastating complication. The retained nipple may act as a portal or nidus for different ductal organisms, and as such, the bacteriology of surgical-site infections (SSIs) in this setting may not be adequately covered by current antibiotic recommendations. This study sought to evaluate SSI and reconstruction outcomes in relation to antibiotic choice and identify the different microbial species implicated. Methods: A prospective database was reviewed for patients who underwent NSM with IBR from 2010 to 2019. Patient characteristics, operative details, antibiotic regimens, and subsequent treatment details were evaluated. The study analyzed SSI incidence, timing, and type of causative organisms. Results: The study analyzed 571 NSMs with IBR performed for 347 patients (55% with direct implants and 45% with tissue expanders). The preoperative antibiotics consisted of cephalosporin alone for 65% of the patients, a more broad single-antibiotic use for 12% of the patients, and dual-coverage antibiotics for 20% of the patients. During a median follow-up of 1.7 years, SSI developed in 12% of the reconstructions, with 6% requiring prosthesis removal. The most common SSI organism cultured was Staphylococcal species. Neither pre- nor postoperative antibiotic choice was associated with incidence of infection, type of bacteria, or need for prosthetic explanation. Conclusion: For patients undergoing NSM with IBR, a more aggressive antibiotic choice is not associated with an improved SSI rate. Patient and treatment factors continue to carry the highest risk for SSI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5486-5494
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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